Knowledge and attitudes on pharmacogenetics among pediatricians

J Hum Genet. 2020 May;65(5):437-444. doi: 10.1038/s10038-020-0723-0. Epub 2020 Jan 27.


Increasing enthusiasm for clinical pharmacogenetic testing and the availability of pharmacogenetic-based guidelines indicate that pediatricians will increasingly be expected to interpret and apply pharmacogenetic test results into medical care. Previous studies have identified a lack of knowledge on pharmacogenetics across many physician specialties; however, this has not been systematically assessed among pediatricians. To evaluate pediatrician knowledge, attitude, and educational interest in pharmacogenetics, we surveyed physician cohorts from both the United States (U.S.) and Japan. A total of 282 pediatricians (210 from the U.S. and 72 from Japan) participated in an anonymous survey (online or hardcopy) on pharmacogenetics knowledge, perception, and education. Over 50% of all respondents had >10 years of clinical experience and >75% had some prior education in genetics. However, <10% felt they were familiar with pharmacogenetics, which was very consistent with <20% of the U.S. pediatricians correctly responding to a codeine/CYP2D6 pharmacogenetics knowledge question and <10% of U.S. pediatricians being aware of the Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium (CPIC). Despite being generally unfamiliar with pharmacogenetics, >80% of all respondents indicated that implementation of clinical pharmacogenetic testing will improve efficacy and safety, and that pediatricians should be capable of applying this testing to their practice. Moreover, the majority (83.1%) were interested in educational opportunities on pharmacogenetics, particularly on result interpretation and therapeutic recommendations. Taken together, these data indicate that although practical knowledge of pharmacogenetics among pediatricians in the U.S. and Japan is currently very low, their interest in clinical pharmacogenetics and related education is high, which will likely facilitate future implementation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pediatricians*
  • Pharmacogenetics*
  • United States